By Beth Germano, WBZ-TVBy Beth Germano

BOSTON (CBS) —- Beneath the fury exterior is the soul of a rock musician who’s gained celebrity status on the streets of Boston calling himself Keytar Bear.

“I’m trying to make a statement that you don’t know who I am, you just enjoy the music,” he tells WBZ-TV.

The street musician wears a bear costume, an identity he developed from being an avid Bruins fan. But when he played his strapped-on keyboard at Faneuil Hall recently someone took advantage and sucker punched him hard enough to break his nose.

“I’m thinking it was a knockout game, but the way he ran off and taunted me, that was no knockout.”

It’s put Keytar Bear in hibernation for awhile, but on social media he’s gained cult status. Fans like Abby Taylor, who has seen him play frequently in Harvard Square, are trying to raise money to help the injured bear. More than $3,000 was raised in a mere 24 hours. She plans a fundraiser at Workbar in Cambridge on Thursday, May 8.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports


“We want to let him know that Boston supports him,” said Taylor. “Just because one guy did something stupid doesn’t mean he should stop performing and it doesn’t mean Boston is not a safe place for him,” she said.

Keytar Bear believes it’s the same person who attacked him at Faneuil Hall a month ago, throwing a bottle of “Snapple” at him and breaking some of the keys on his instrument.

“We’re musicians, we’re here to play music. Our intention is not to fight with anybody in the public,” he said.

Rob Thomas, a street performer who goes by the name Black Swan, says it’s not an easy profession. “It’s a risk every time in the streets. You have no protection except the grace you have with God,” said Thomas.

It’s given Keytar Bear the jitters, uncertain if he’s being stalked by someone, and hopes he doesn’t have to wait until spring is over to play again.

“I love Boston I’m not going to give up. This is my city.”

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Beth Germano

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